They have three primary scam objectives — seller, buyer, or refund

Seller scams involve deceiving victims, termed as Mammoths, into purchasing nonexistent items.

If you use Telegram, this could be an important alert for you, as scammers and hackers are employing a malicious Telegram bot called ‘Telekopye’ to carry out large-scale phishing scams, according to a recent report.

As per security researcher Radek Jizba from ESETResearch, Telekopye is an advanced tool enabling criminals to craft convincing phishing websites, emails, SMS messages, and more.

Operating under the guise of a legitimate company, a group of hackers known as Neanderthals employs Telekopye within a structured framework. They recruit members through underground forums who then gain access to specific Telegram channels for communication and monitoring ongoing operations.

They have three primary scam objectives — seller, buyer, or refund. Seller scams involve deceiving victims, termed as Mammoths, into purchasing nonexistent items.

In buyer scams, Neanderthals pose as buyers to trick merchants (Mammoths) into revealing financial information. Refund scams mislead Mammoths into thinking they’re receiving a refund, only to deduct the same amount again.

These hackers use various strategies for successful scams. In seller scams, they prepare additional photos of the non-existent item and manipulate internet images to complicate reverse image searches.

Buyer scams involve meticulous planning, with Neanderthals selecting targets based on factors like gender, age, online marketplace experience, ratings, reviews, completed trades, and item types, tailoring their approach for higher success rates.

To entice Mammoths, Neanderthals engage in real estate fraud by creating fake apartment listings. They maintain anonymity using VPNs, proxies, and TOR, making it challenging for authorities to trace them.

Meanwhile, another new scam is on the rise this year fraudsters have been duping people of lakhs of rupees while posing as customs officials across metro cities.

In this new method, called courier scam, the imposters posing as police officials or NCRB agents contact people accusing them of engaging in illicit activities related to sending and receiving parcels containing drugs or other banned substances.

Then the scamsters convince the victims that they will be contacted by police personnel and the entire racket of money extortion begins to settle the false complaint against the victims. The courier scam has been targeting people between 35 to 50 and there have been hundreds of cases reported to the police this year.

(with inputs from IANS)